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DW / File photo: Houses burned by armed groups in Mucojo, Macomia district, in a previous attack in Cabo Delgado
A new attack by an armed group killed four people and left a person seriously injured on Saturday (July 7), at night, in a remote village in Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique.
The attack took place in the village of Macanga[or ‘Macanca’] – Nhica do Rovuma, belonging to the administrative post of Pundanhar , in the district of Palma, local sources told Lusa news agency. The group burned down five houses in the village, they added.
The administrative post that was attacked is located about 20 kilometres west of the village of Palma and is accessible by dirt roads.
The latest attack took place on June 22 in Manganja, a village 15 kilometres southeast of Palma. In the latest wave of violence alone, since May 27, at least 33 people, 11 alleged attackers and two members of the security forces have been killed, according to figures from the authorities and testimonies of the population to Lusa.
Remote settlements in the province have been plundered with violence perpetrated by unidentified people in the last nine months. The groups invade the houses of precarious construction with machetes [‘catanas’] in search of cattle, food, money and other goods. They have caused an undetermined number of deaths, some using machine guns, and burning some of the settlements.
Attacks started in Mocímboa da Praia
The wave of attacks began in Mocímboa da Praia with an armed group which reportedly included members of a Muslim group occupying a mosque in the village and which argued that Islamic law should overlap with the rule of law.
The groups that have attacked the villages have never made any claims or made their intentions known to the public. The attacks come at a time when investments by natural gas oil companies in the region are moving forward. However, such attacks have not yet entered the perimeters of the projects.
Researchers report that they are international criminal networks linked to the trafficking of heroin, ivory, rubies and wood. Furthermore, they add that these networks have been present for several years in the province of Cabo Delgado and suggest that the wave of violence is linked to these networks.
Authorities have announced that hundreds of arrests have been made and they say that, the alleged perpetrators are fragilised, but without any further clarifications on the reasons for the wave of violence.
The attacks have resulted in a wave of hundreds of IDPs [Internally Displaced People] seeking refuge in the nearest district headquarters (Palma, Mocímboa da Praia, Macomia, Ilha do Ibo and Quissanga).Source: Lusa / Deutsche Welle